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Old January 28th, 2010, 01:21 PM   #1
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Nikkor Pro Lenses

After researching more and more about the D700, I don't feel like I'm ready for the upgraded body quite yet.

I have a D90 right now, and it suits my needs just fine, and I don't know if I'm ready for a DX to FX change. I've considered buying a new pro lens (or two) by this coming summer. I have several choices I'm interested in, because I really want to advance my portraiture and have speed too, because I want to do fashion photography and wedding photography.

Give me your opinions... I'm mainly looking for something on the longer end, because right now, the longest lens I have is my MF 100mm f/2.8 Series E, and I already have a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 to fill the mid-range, as well as lots of mid-range primes. Pro zooms/primes I'm interested in (no particular order):

1. Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ($1,100)
2. Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D ($900)
3. Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D ($1,200)
4. Nikkor 135mm f/2D DC ($1,300)

I think I like the 180mm prime the best right now, because I have nothing even close to that in focal length, and it's the cheapest of all.

It's either I buy one of these lenses or I upgrade my camera body. I could always upgrade to a D300S, but Idk how much of an upgrade that would really be. Any thoughts are welcome and appreciated.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 01:47 PM   #2
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I would go with the Nikkor 80-200MM 2.8 or the 180MM 2.8.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 02:19 PM   #3
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The D700 is overrated. Even the D300s could partially be considered a downgrade because the image quality isn't as good. The D90 is already approaching the IQ of the D700 at less than a third of the price, so you've really got to be doing something crazy, printing huge frequently, or have deep pockets otherwise for that upgrade to make sense. You're definitely on the right track going for more glass.

It's a beast, but I'd recommend the 80-200/2.8. For a fast paced wedding you'll need AF and metering and flexibility, and that will give you that. Get a BlackRapid RS-4 strap to go with it. For more candid and relaxed portraiture shoots, keep doing what you're doing with more MF glass. Maybe look into a 135/2.8 AIS if you want something at that length, since I see the 135/2 listed. For wedding shoots I'd look into a secondary body also. You don't want to be fuxxed if something happens to your D90 at a wedding.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 02:35 PM   #4
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I know, hence why I was looking into a D700 body... so I could have two cameras, but I didn't know if it'd be justified to get a second body until I actually get some "paid" wedding shoots under my belt and start getting my name out there.

Thanks for the info about the 80-200... that's def one of my top two lenses I'm looking into right now, cause I really need to get something for the telephoto end.

Know anything about the 180mm f/2.8D? It's cheaper than the rest and seems like an amazing lens, but it wouldn't have any versatility compared to the 80-200. Does the 80-200 produce nice bokeh everywhere in the range? I really want creamy, creamy bokeh.

The reviews I have been reading place the D300S above the D90, but I can't find much to really justify that other than a better AF system (51-pt, better 3D tracking). The ISO performance is way worse supposedly with the D300S.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 05:08 PM   #5
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Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D used but EX condition on KEH for $620, should I jump on that?
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Old January 29th, 2010, 05:19 PM   #6
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http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/80-200mm-history.htm

At that price it could be either of the older push-pull versions. Nothing wrong with either of them, except the AF is slow, and some people just prefer the more modern two-ring designs. If you're on a budget they're great, but the AF definitely wouldn't be quick enough for serious PJ style work or sports, or chasing kids around. For that you'd want the more modern two-ring AF-D version (screwdriven), or the discontinued (and rare) AF-S non-VR version.

You did say "D" though, which implies the more modern two-ring variant. If so and it's a good sample that sounds like a pretty good price. Still a current lens, and going for around $1100 new now.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 05:34 PM   #7
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i can't tell which one this is... http://www.keh.com/Product-Details/1...R/NA07/FE.aspx
It says "D", but I can't see if it's the same as this... http://imaging.nikon.com/products/im.../pic_001_l.jpg

It's the older version, nevermind. :/ I found the two-ring version on KEH too... http://www.keh.com/Product-Details/1...J/NA07/FE.aspx

Steve, you have some BGN lenses from KEH, would that be a bad acquisition?
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Old January 29th, 2010, 06:18 PM   #8
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Yeah that's the older push-pull. Oh, the later version of the push-pull was a "D" too. Yeah the higher prices are what I'd expect for the newer two-ring.

BGN KEH lenses are great. I only buy BGN lenses from them. Why pay more? A lens that looks at least a bit used is almost guaranteed to be a good copy, because if it wasn't it wouldn't have gotten used. I actually worry more about these minty fresh EX/EX+ lenses. Why was such a nice lens never used? Was it not a good copy or something? Probably just never got used or was owned by a collector, but still... The BGN lenses are all great.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 08:23 PM   #9
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Good to know, cause the two-ring version is just $100 more on KEH. I should be able to buy this soon, hopefully. I'll def take pics of her when she arrives, hopefully can purchase this weekend. blahhh. If not this, I might buy some more powerful AlienBees considering I have no AB1600.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 09:13 PM   #10
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You'll love it. You'll definitely want a good strap to go with it though, otherwise they're so incredibly awkward to carry. I have a BlackRapid RS-4 strap hooked up to the bottom of my 70-200 which works beautifully. I actually want to get one or two more of those straps.

Oh, the 180/2.8... Optically indistinguishable from the 80-200/2.8's. Any difference pretty much comes down to sample variability. Both should be super sharp at 180mm and f/2.8, and have very nice bokeh if they're good copies in proper adjustment, and there seems to be very little difference between them. The 180 of course is a whole lot smaller and lighter and easier to carry around. Eventually, I'll get one of those. Came very very close to buying somebody's 180/2.8 ED AIS the other week for $275, but I think I'd rather have autofocus on a lens like that.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 03:24 PM   #11
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Yeah for reals. I'd rather have autofocus at that focal length too. Oh would the 80-200mm f/2.8D not be able to fit in a camera bag? Right now, I'm able to fit 6 lenses, a speedlight, filters, memory cards, my camera, my Cactus V4s, backup batteries, and all my lens hoods in my little Slingshot 200AW. But here's why... 4 of the lenses are primes and my zooms are rather small. Tokina 12-24mm f/4 and Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 (very small zooms).

I found some 180mm f/2.8D ED lenses on Ebay for relatively cheap, but Ken Rockwell says if you buy it used, watch out for gunk in the rear element.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 04:06 PM   #12
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Update: I found a BGN-rated Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D ED lens on KEH for $485, so I purchased. That deal was just too great to pass up, because like you said, Steve, the more a lens was used, the better the copy prob is.

Even if it's a little banged up, it's a pro-grade lens with ED glass for sub-$500. haha This means I prob won't get the 80-200mm zoom ever and will prob just eventually get the 85mm f/1.4D. With my kind of photography (even if I go into wedding photography), the Tamron mid-range zoom I have will be perfect, and then for telephoto stuff, I could use a 85mm prime and the 180mm prime.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 04:35 PM   #13
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Congrats. There's a thread somewhere at NikonCafe where a bunch of people posted photos of their beat 180/2.8's, some of which were absolutely beat to hell and looked like they had been through a few wars, yet they'd still produce tack sharp photos.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 11:08 PM   #14
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Wow... I will have to look for that. Isn't the shell made of metal instead of plastic? Hopefully this is a weather-sealed lens... you'd think it would be. All I know is that this lens will be great for some telephoto fashion portraits... I hear the focus is kinda slow for [sport]raiture, but that's okay, because I don't shoot sports at all. For weddings, this would come in handy if I'm a ways away from the stage or just wanna get some amazingly intimate shots.

Check out this sample shot:


Granted that's with a D700, but still, the depth of field is great.
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